PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 18, 2018)(CNBNewsnet)--Go to Amazon right now and buy the underdog masks if you’re going to the game this Sunday. This Eagles team is a home underdog again.
As if Vegas didn’t learn their lesson from last week by favoring Atlanta in the City of Brotherly Love, they’re favoring Case Keenum here as well.
The Eagles and Vikings square off as the most unpredictable teams in an NFC Conference Championship game Sunday at 6:40. That’s right, even I couldn’t fathom these two teams playing each other this late in January.
Yet here they are, the Vikings are here by a miracle, and the Eagles just by sheer grit and determination.
This is a big one for the Vikings considering they have the chance to host a home Super Bowl. But for the Eagles, this is the chance to get back into the Super Bowl for the first time in over a decade.
And better yet, they have the chance to play that New England team that beat them.
Going into this game, I wanted to face the Saints defense a lot more then I wanted to face the Vikings. But then I remembered, the Saints have Drew Brees and he showed why you wouldn’t want to face him with the game on the line.
These are top-10 offenses going up against top defenses. But the Eagles top offense is because of Carson Wentz, who unfortunately isn’t healthy right now.
Now Keenum is a good back-up quarterback, he isn’t a sustainable starting quarterback. He looked great to start the game, when his defense was making stops and shutting down Brees.
But as the Saints slowly started to get back into the game, Keenum got worse. He was awful in the late goings of this game. He couldn’t keep his team on the field to melt down the clock and give his defense a break.
That Vikings offensive line is going to have major problems with the Eagles front four. If the Saints defensive line was pressuring Keenum with ease, imagine what Jim Schwartz’s group is going to do.
Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham will terrorize that line. Latavius Murray, Vikings running back, said he wants Philly.
This is coming from a guy who rushed 19 times for 50 yards against an abysmal Saints defense. Good luck getting passed Fletcher Cox.
On the flip side, the Eagles have a running back by committee game plan, and that’s what’s going to beat the Vikings. Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, and Corey Clement can cause problems once they’re on their game.
The Vikings defense though will create problems with Nick Foles. Xavier Rhodes is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and I’m scared Foles will be afraid to throw his way.
This is Foles we are talking about too, not Brees or Wentz. I have the utmost faith in Foles for this game. Now that he’s gotten the nerves out and he’s got that first win under him and he knows this city is behind him.
For the Eagles offense, they need to protect the ball better then they did against the Falcons. They fumbled it on the second play of the game. They had a special teams issue as well.
The Eagles can’t be giving free points away. It was tough to throw the deep ball last week for both quarterbacks last week, but it will be a lot warmer and less windy.
I see both quarterbacks taking some shots down the field. Let’s remember that the Vikings are a dome team, and they haven’t been tested in the cold that much.
The last time they were in the cold was in Lambeau in December, but other then that, they were either home or in a warmer stadium.
Read all the stuff you want about how the Eagles are this record when this happens, and the Vikings are this record since they’re last Super Bowl appearance. But records go out the window this Sunday, and this Eagles team is ready to let everyone know that they shouldn’t have been slept on.
One final thought is there will be 70,000 rowdy Philadelphia fans ready to heckle this Vikings team. On top of that most of the stadium will be wearing dog masks. That’s a horrifying sight for a visiting team.
I’m being completely bias in this pick, but I like the Eagles receiving core over the Vikings and I like their front four against the Vikings o-line. That is why I’ve got the Eagles winning this one 20-10.